On the occasion of Alia Bhatt’s birthday, her father and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt can’t stop talking about her. In an interaction with a leading Indian daily, the proud father said, “This wonder child of mine has outdistanced and outshone me in the dawn of her career. She has just made her foray into the world of movies with a spectacular take off. I take great pride in proclaiming to the world that it gives me unimaginable joy when people come to me at airports or restaurants, in bookshops seeking a picture for their children because I happen to be Alia Bhatt’s father. I get to hear that ‘your brand Mr. Bhatt has been redesigned, refashioned and reinvested by your little girl’. She has given the brand Mahesh Bhatt a new sheen. She has added a halo to my life in more ways than one emotionally and even in terms of brand equity.”

Talking about Alia’s choice of films and whether he gives any guidance to her, he said, “One of my most precious treasures, which I’ve preserved, is an autograph that Alia gave me after her first film, Student of the Year (2012), became hit. She had written: ‘THANK YOU PAPA FOR NOT HELPING ME AT ALL’. I think that’s something I flaunt to the world because nothing could be more liberating for a parent that to see his own child take off and have a kind of a spectacular launch without their help and that speaks volumes of her talent. I have never in any way given her a shoulder or felt the need to suggest to her what roles to take, which project to do or which she should not do. She is, wherever she is today, because of her own choices and not because of her father or her mother [Soni Razdan]. She is a self-made girl.”